27 December 2009

Victor's Kitchen, Sunshine Plaza

Hubby and I love dim sum! I guess we'll crave for it at least once a month? As much as we would like to explore different restaurants/eateries to try more variety and broaden choices, our usual haunts remain to be Victor's Kitchen at Sunshine Plaza and Kam Boat at Shaw Centre. We used to frequent Teahouse at China Square but sadly, Tung Lok has discontinued this dim sum branch. Then there are those highly recommended restaurants such as Royal China at Raffles Hotel, Wah Lok at Carlton that we went like once. Yet to try would be Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental... and I'm sure many other restaurants worthy for a sinful calorie laden meal.

Victor's Kitchen has been blogged and raved about by many bloggers already, as a humble eatery serving cheap and good dim sum. Indeed, we like that it is no-frills and we don't have to dress up for a decent meal of above average dim sum at reasonable prices. But it can get uncomfortable as seating and table space is very limited and squeezy. Do expect queues during peak hours and weekends.

Note: photos taken over a few visits.

3 of our must-order dim sum when we go any dim sum place are Siew Mai, Har Gau and Cheong Fun, sort of a gauge of the 'standard' of the chef and whether we would return again.

The Siew Mai here is pretty decent; proportion of lean pork more than prawns but nonetheless still crunchy and juicy. Perhaps I am more jaded now, I would like to have more prawns and some diced mushroom in my Siew Mai if possible and yes pls keep the pork lean. (Absolutely hated those Siew Mai sold at Kopi Tiam where large amount of fatty pork added. Yucks, how can call those Siew Mai?)

As for the Har Gau, prawns are fresh and crunchy and the skin mostly thin and chewy. When I say mostly, sometimes they do have misses when the skin is just a tad too thick. I like it that some diced bamboo shoots are added.

We love the Steamed Carrot Cake with XO sauce here. The texture is melt-in-the-mouth and smooth. Somehow the XO sauce overwhelms the ingredients like dried prawns and chinese sausage but I don't really mind.

The Cheong Fun here is mostly good as well. Good days being the cheong fun served piping hot and skin texture almost melt-in-the-mouth. (There are rare days when the cheong fun skin is a tad thick). We prefer the prawns than char siew or za leong (dough stick). And recently, they even added spinach inside the rice roll, a healthy attempt which I appreciate as I always lament the lack of veg in dim sum.

To get some veg in dim sum, try the Steamed Prawn and Chives Dumpling or Steamed Prawn and Spinach Dumpling. The latter is new on the menu. We love the chewy texture of the dumpling skin very much. As for the filling, chives, either you love or hate it; spinach, it's surprisely very compatible with prawns and as a dumpling filling.
The Lotus Leave Glutinous Rice is quite nice as well. The wrapped lotus leave looks like a little pillow :) The glutinous rice is soft and filled with fragrance of the lotus leave; chicken soft and tender, chinese sausage sweet and salted egg yolk savoury. All ingredients complement each other nicely :d, yes sinful indeed.
The XO sauce condiment which hubby likes.
The Custard Bun here is supposedly a signature dish. Bun is soft and fluffy and custard creamy and milky. Best part, a small piece of salted egg yolk is added which gives the bun the Oomph factor.
The Char Siew Bun is not bad either, chunks of sweet char siew meat oozing with sauce when you bite into the soft and fluffy bun.
There are a few other dishes we would order sometimes like braised chicken claws and spare ribs. Not too bad.

As for deep fried stuff like prawn dumpling, beancurd roll and spring roll, we seldom order them since the steamed dishes are the must-eats and already very filling. There is a popular deep fried pork dumpling which many people would order, tiny piece of minced pork wrapped with large sheet of dumpling skin and deep fried to a crisp.

With reasonable prices and quality dim sum, no wonder the place is getting more crowded... wonder if Chef Victor would move to bigger premise? But then again, he has remained at Sunshine Plaza for a few years now and probably it's this no-frills and value-for-money charm that attracts the strong followings.

Victor's Kitchen
91 Bencoolen St
Sunshine Plaza #01-21
10am to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

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